Like most in the Never-Trump crowd, on the night of November 8th, 2016, I was absolutely shocked, incensed and in utter disbelief. I was so certain that the Republican Party could use what would be Trump’s inevitable, embarrassing loss to Hillary as a catalyst to change course, moderate and forever repudiate the politics of division and demagoguery. Needless to say, I was wrong—dead wrong.
What I heard from Republicans on the night of November 8th was an entirely different call: not to moderate, but to reaffirm; not to change, but to stay the course; not to repudiate, but embrace what Trump represented. What Trump really represents depends on who you ask. To me, Trump represents one thing as a man, and something entirely different as a political force.
As a person, I find that Trump represents the epitome of a virtue-less individual. He lies unabashedly. He blatantly disregards facts if they are inconsistent with his preconceived, surface-level familiarity with policy issues, and ignites fervor among those who have embraced ignorance and hatred as solutions to America’s problems. However, I think this has already been rehashed and rehearsed many of times. People get it—Trump is deeply imperfect; both conservatives and liberals can think of someone else they’d rather occupy the Oval office in the coming years.
But what people (on the left in particular) don’t seem to get is the political force Trump represents. Trump has effectively up-ended the liberal strategy of shaming people into thinking and acting the way they would like them to. By virtue of his unequivocal victory, he has shown the media that Americans are sick and tired of the left’s manufactured controversies and warped sense of reality. Quite honestly, I am too.
As a Black man who has experienced economic hardship, a broken educational system and a fatherless home marred by drug addiction, I can honestly say that I am fed up with the self-serving Black political “leadership” and all its snobbery and disconnectedness. They’ve refused to emphasize the real issues facing most Black Americans, electing instead to focus on those that will win them attention and praise from leftist news outlets. They’ve intellectualized self-pity and excuses for failure to the point where young Black people honestly think they cannot succeed in today’s America because of their skin color. They’ve normalized the practice of baselessly labeling situations and individuals as racist to the point where the accusation has lost all of its rightful credibility. I find it all to be nothing short of absurd, and I look forward to it coming to an end.
We need real discourse on issues internal to the Black community, as these are the ones most within our control. The Black liberal elite would label such an honest, introspective endeavor as low-browed, victim-blaming and flat-out “racist.” Well, this past election has shown us that those empty labels don’t mean a thing anymore in terms of shutting down discourse. It is time for Black Americans to realize their latent potential and engage in self-determination. This doesn’t mean that we wholeheartedly embrace conservatism (even I don’t), but it should mean that we focus on rebuilding black families and communities, investing in school choice so that poor schools aren’t rewarded with more unfortunate children, and acknowledging the role that black entertainment and media has had in glorifying behavior which could impede our own success.
Whether Trump chooses to help with this new endeavor is of little concern to me. Quite frankly, I believe that looking to the government for solutions is how people end up feeling disillusioned, disappointed and powerless.